Neither the sweep of Farmers over Centrales or the 24-run batting duel between Portuarios-Ganaderos in the last game between them seem to steal the prominence of the sports week. The Elite League gives space today to news related to the upcoming V World Classic and the start this Sunday of the Soccer World Cup in Qatar.
Carlos Martí’s troops passed the broom before some emboldened Centrales always coming from below and in this way the leading quartet continued to be led by them, now with greater comfort (14V-6D) over Ganaderos (11V-9D), Centrales (11V- 10D), Tabacaleros (10V-11D), Coffee Growers (9V-10D) and Ports (6V-15D).
But beyond the little interest that continues to arouse in the fans (we will soon publish how many fans have gone to each stadium) the information that three Cuban baseball players with experience in professional baseball (MLB and the Mexican Pacific League) agreed to integrate the national preselection to the next Clásico stole the burst of passion.
And I say passion because although Andy Ibáñez (Detroit Tigers), Yoan López (New York Goal) and Elián Leyva (Hermosillo Naranjeros) are not the brightest stars, much less in Cuba in those contests, it is the first positive step based on Assemble a team with more competitive credentials, whether or not these players or others that could be confirmed in the coming days or weeks are part of the roster in the end.
For those who always wonder why management now and not before; or they are amazed at the disrespect that Andy and Yoan received from some of their former teammates, it is only necessary to clarify that the negotiation with them does not end with their word and disposition, but also involves a manifest position from the Major Leagues to settle issues of insurance with the teams to which they belong, among other legal issues. In other words, they will help, despite the fact that the Cuban Federation’s agreement with the MLB is broken. And they will do it because they are co-sponsors of the spectacle that the event entails.
It is sad to see and hear that some (now almost more political than a (MLB) pitcher) accuse Andy and Yoan of joining a Federation, above all. Perhaps the Venezuelans, Dominicans, Boricuas and Mexicans who play in MLB also join when they belong to their national teams.Not all of them support the ideology of the government on duty in those countries, but they decide to play for their shirt for the fans, for that land where they were born.
The path for Cuba has not been golden nor free of errors, obstacles and manipulations to get here. There have been excesses and even intransigence on both sides. However, it is enough to reach an agreement to achieve an objective, without any other interest than playing baseball, which right there violates the right of each person to decide if they put the four letters of Cuba on their chest again. Many said and will say no to the call of the Cuban Federation with more or less reasonable arguments. And in that respect it will be necessary to walk, without exaggerating who says: yes, count on me; nor attack those who do not want to do so due to wounds that have not yet healed.
The issue will continue in a vertiginous avalanche in the coming weeks and it is good to insist that the bulk of our training for the World Classic will come from the Cuban Elite League, not from the MLB players, because these calls are not a sew and sing. Even those who accept will be evaluated in their sporting way because no name is automatic to integrate a team and we already know that the All-Star teams reach very few in high-quality tournaments
But what about the Soccer World Cup in Qatar that comes to paint in this baseball and debate scenario? Well, very easy. As of Sunday, the media attention for a month, from which Cuba will not escape, will move to Doha. There are those who will disconnect so much that they will not react if Agricultores passes the broom to another cast again or Portuarios manages to get out of the cold basement in which almost half of this championship has already been spent.
Fortunately, this sporting and social phenomenon that is the Soccer World Cup is held exceptionally in November. Another blow like this for the Elite Baseball League would be its final burial because playing with an audience that thinks more about goals than home runs is almost betraying the essence of our passion.